Features

Can a Vaccine Save the World’s Pigs from African Swine Fever?
Can a Vaccine Save the World’s Pigs from African Swine Fever?
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 13, 2020
A devastating outbreak of the virus across East Asia has made the long-neglected pathogen a top research priority, but many challenges lie ahead.
What Neurobiology Can Tell Us About Suicide
What Neurobiology Can Tell Us About Suicide
Catherine Offord | Jan 13, 2020
The biochemical mechanisms in the brain underlying suicidal behavior are beginning to come to light, and researchers hope they could one day lead to better treatment and prevention strategies.
Alternative Splicing Provides a Broad Menu of Proteins for Cells
Alternative Splicing Provides a Broad Menu of Proteins for Cells
Gabrielle M. Gentile, Hannah J. Wiedner, Emma R. Hinkle, and Jimena Giudice | Jan 13, 2020
It’s now clear that gene transcripts can be constructed in various ways, yet many questions remain about the process.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the January/February 2020 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

A Bright Scientific Future
A Bright Scientific Future
A Bright Scientific Future
We may not have personal jetpacks yet, but the past decade has been marked by life-science revolutions, and the coming years have even more biological breakthroughs in store.

Speaking of Science

Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Exorcising Ghostwriting from Peer Review
Opinion: Exorcising Ghostwriting from Peer Review
Opinion: Exorcising Ghostwriting from Peer Review
Training young scientists to review submitted manuscripts should be an academic exercise, not a facet of professional scientific publishing.

Notebook

Researchers Fight a Devastating Amphibian Infection Using Heat
Researchers Fight a Devastating Amphibian Infection Using Heat
Researchers Fight a Devastating Amphibian Infection Using Heat
They’ve survived volcanic eruptions, but one Caribbean island’s mountain chicken frogs might need help from scientists to escape the lethal chytrid fungus.
Transposons Identified as Likely Cause of Undiagnosed Diseases
Transposons Identified as Likely Cause of Undiagnosed Diseases
Transposons Identified as Likely Cause of Undiagnosed Diseases
A tool for identifying jumping gene insertions in DNA sequencing data turns up possible explanations for four patients’ rare developmental disorders.
Circadian Clock Genes Help a Crop Pest Adapt to Climate Change
Circadian Clock Genes Help a Crop Pest Adapt to Climate Change
Circadian Clock Genes Help a Crop Pest Adapt to Climate Change
As global temperatures rise and winters shorten, caterpillars of the corn borer moth are emerging earlier in parts of the US thanks to changes in two genes, researchers find.
Excess of Immune Cells Found in Brains of People with Autism
Excess of Immune Cells Found in Brains of People with Autism
Excess of Immune Cells Found in Brains of People with Autism
An accumulation of T cells and astrocytes in postmortem brain tissue hints at possible autoimmune origins for many cases of autism.

Modus Operandi

Genome Data Enable Capture of Elusive Microbes
Genome Data Enable Capture of Elusive Microbes
Genome Data Enable Capture of Elusive Microbes
Using reverse genetics, researchers create antibodies to reel in previously uncultured bacteria.

The Literature

Viruses Mediate Interactions Between Bacteria and Sponges: Study
Viruses Mediate Interactions Between Bacteria and Sponges: Study
Viruses Mediate Interactions Between Bacteria and Sponges: Study
A newly identified group of viruses may help suppress eukaryotes’ immune response and promote tolerance of endosymbiotic bacteria.
Diving Beetle Adults and Larvae Dismember, Eat Tadpoles: Study
Diving Beetle Adults and Larvae Dismember, Eat Tadpoles: Study
Diving Beetle Adults and Larvae Dismember, Eat Tadpoles: Study
The invertebrate predators prey on and lay their eggs near emerging tadpoles, potentially threatening the conservation of endangered frogs, researchers find.
Aneuploidy Could Explain Variability in Female Fertility: Study
Aneuploidy Could Explain Variability in Female Fertility: Study
Aneuploidy Could Explain Variability in Female Fertility: Study
Eggs from girls and from older women show higher rates of errors in chromosome number.

Profile

Switch Master: A Profile of Barbara Meyer
Switch Master: A Profile of Barbara Meyer
Switch Master: A Profile of Barbara Meyer
Working with bacteriophages and nematodes, the University of California, Berkeley, molecular biologist uncovered a role for genetic switches in early development.

Scientist to Watch

Oded Rechavi Studies the RNA Nematodes Pass to Their Offspring
Oded Rechavi Studies the RNA Nematodes Pass to Their Offspring
Oded Rechavi Studies the RNA Nematodes Pass to Their Offspring
The Tel Aviv University researcher is interested in how the macromolecules affect the health and behavior of successive generations of worms.

Bio Business

Gene Therapy Finds a Fertile Home in Ohio
Gene Therapy Finds a Fertile Home in Ohio
Gene Therapy Finds a Fertile Home in Ohio
The midwestern state has quietly laid the groundwork for a biotech hub.

Reading Frames

Why Do We Forget How to Walk on Ice?
Why Do We Forget How to Walk on Ice?
Why Do We Forget How to Walk on Ice?
A new book explores the crosstalk between mind and body and how it helps humans navigate their worlds.

Foundations

A Woman of Firsts, Early 20th Century
A Woman of Firsts, Early 20th Century
A Woman of Firsts, Early 20th Century
Florence Sabin was known for her pioneering research and efforts to support women in science.

Infographics

Infographic: The Neurobiology of Suicidal BehaviorInfographic: The Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior
Infographic: The Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior
Infographic: The Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior
Clues about the biological mechanisms that contribute to a person’s chance of contemplating or attempting suicide
Infographic: Preventing a Swine Pandemic
Infographic: Preventing a Swine Pandemic
Infographic: Preventing a Swine Pandemic
With millions of pigs killed due to a major outbreak of African swine fever virus in Asia, researchers have intensified efforts to find a vaccine quickly.
Infographic: The Lifecycle of African Swine Fever Virus
Infographic: The Lifecycle of African Swine Fever Virus
Infographic: The Lifecycle of African Swine Fever Virus
Understanding how domestic pigs can be infected with the deadly virus could be key to protecting them from it.
Infographic: A Deadly Pig Virus’s Escapes from Africa
Infographic: A Deadly Pig Virus’s Escapes from Africa
Infographic: A Deadly Pig Virus’s Escapes from Africa
African swine fever virus has left the continent on three occasions, causing outbreaks in Europe, the Americas, and most recently, East Asia.
Infographic: How Splicing of Genes Can Affect Heart Health
Infographic: How Splicing of Genes Can Affect Heart Health
Infographic: How Splicing of Genes Can Affect Heart Health
The way in which mRNA transcripts are cut can influence the elasticity of the organ.
Infographic: Phage Protein Helps <em>E. coli</em> Evade Mouse Immune Cells
Infographic: Phage Protein Helps E. coli Evade Mouse Immune Cells
Infographic: Phage Protein Helps E. coli Evade Mouse Immune Cells
Researchers suggest the viruses can help endosymbiotic bacteria get along with their hosts.
Infographic: Trapping Uncultured Bacteria
Infographic: Trapping Uncultured Bacteria
Infographic: Trapping Uncultured Bacteria
Sequence data from previously uncultured microorganisms provide the information necessary for their capture.